300 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

300300 was one of those films where I truly didn’t realize how amazing it was with only one viewing under my proverbial belt.  Admittedly so it took a couple for me to declare it epic, but fast forward 13 years and here we are.  One of the greatest historical fantasy films is making its 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut and not a moment too soon.  2020 has been one hell of a year and 300 on 4K disc may just be what the doctor ordered for some temporarily relief.  I’ve been patiently waiting several years for this epic period action film to make a 4K appearance and that day has finally come this October 6th.  Hear me roar as I guide you on this 4K adventure with 300 Spartans facing off against 300,000 invading soldiers.  Hoorah!  

300 4K Review


300 was officially released theatrically in 2007, but it did make its debut in 2006 at Austin’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon.  They don’t do those anymore down here, but that’s a long story for another time.  The film is based on the late 90’s comic series of the same name by Frank Miller.  It’s sort of like a factionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars.  The film was both co-written and directed by my DCEU hero, Zack Snyder.  Miller served as both an executive producer and consultant to ensure the vision of his comic book pages came out right on the big screen.  While I am guilty of never reading the series before I couldn’t imagine this picture failed in its recreation in a way.  

The plot of 300 revolves around King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) who leads well “300” Spartans into battle against a Persian God-King, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), who just so happens to command an army of 300,000 invading soldiers plus some pretty wicked creatures to boot.  Meanwhile his wife (Heady) was busy on the home front rallying the support of Sparta.  What makes 300 such a unique film is that it was shot mostly with a superimposition chroma key technique.  This way it replicates the look of the original comic book, which the movie is sourced from.  If you ever get the chance to check it out or own 300 on the now defunct HD DVD format, you’ll understand exactly what I’m referring to thanks in part to the excellent P-I-P track available on it.  It literally shows you how it was all filmed against the green screen.

Now I’m quite sure that the majority of the folks reading this review have seen 300 before so I’m going to keep this film section short and sweet.  300 to me is both style and substance.  Yes the story is fantastical, but the narrative way it’s told and the unique cinematography of it all, action scenes and environments, made it a fan favorite for many back in 2007.  It was even a box office success with $456 million dollars, and eventually spawned a sequel some 7 years later titled 300: Rise of an Empire.  The sequel interestingly takes place before, during, and after the main events of 300.

I can still remember my first theatrical viewing of 300.  It was quite a visual spectacle to behold and take in.  So we’ll call it a very vivid experience.  It was like the raw pages of Frank Miller’s graphic novel just magically came to life on the big screen.  Were those chiseled bodies real or CGI?  Hell no!  Gerald Butler and the rest of the gang went through some rigorous training to achieve those astonishing physiques (watch those extras on the Blu-ray Disc) and those abs.  Wow those abs!  This is very much a man’s movie that I’m sure many women and men like to gawk at.  If nothing else, you have a motivation to work out here.

Now don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t all about the awe, shock and gratuitous violence/sex, it was actually quite an entertaining, motivating and a solid movie that took us on an incredible journey. Facing insurmountable odds, the 300 Spartan soldiers heroically fought to the death to defend their honor and freedom, inspiring all of Greece to unite against the enemy.  If you’re like me, it left you thirsty for even more blood and vengeance by the time the credits rolled.  After all, our king, as mighty as he was, had fallen.  We all back then wanted revenge!

300 4K Review


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of 300.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: No
  • HDR: HDR10
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: This is a tough one to write.  While 300 was captured on 35mm it’s unique style might not be the biggest night and day difference compared to its Blu-ray counterpart, which already was a looker in itself.  The fact is 300 was finished with a 2K DI.  So while there is a small uptick in detail to be found here this one is all about the HDR.  When CGI is not heavily abundant and causing blur or softness detail is impeccable.  There is much fine detail to be found in closeups throughout like wrinkles, moles, hair, stubble, clothes and garb and even nipples.  Yes I said it!  How can you not see that?
  • Depth: This is also a tough one to grade because if you know anything about the making of this film, you would know this is primarily a green screen feature marred heavily by CGI.  However, there is a strong three-dimensional pop to it all.  If there ever was a 4K 3D format, this one is ripe for the picking.  The environmental like burning embers, snowflakes, straw fields and more create a sense of depth only seen in 3D movies.  So there’s that!
  • Black Levels: Black levels are deep and inky like a comic, but also not too over exaggerated.
  • Color Reproduction: While this is a very muted color palette I can’t help but feel the HDR brought out what pop it could from this otherwise dull looking feature.  The reds still continue to excel and the blacks highlight the comic book like shadows that bring this unique looking film a larger than life look to it all.
  • Flesh Tones: I’m going to pass here.  Haha.  Because of the stylish nature, muted color palette and abundant CGI here I can neither confirm or deny skin tones are accurate.  I’ll let you be the judge there.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There is a thin veneer of film grain that looks pleasant throughout and is not as noisy as the Blu-ray 1080p counterpart.

300 4K Review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of 300.  I do want you to know that the  4K UHD Disc comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track while the 1080p Blu-ray comes equipped with the original release’s 5.1Dolby TrueHD and PCM tracks.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos – TrueHD, English Audio Description, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: I’ll make this statement again down below, but the main reason to upgrade with this one is because of its new Atmos track.  It’s a best to be reckoned right out of the gate from the studio’s logo.  I’ll even use words like full, robust, rousing and triumphant to describe this one as well as loud and wide.  I know that’s a mouthful.  Truth be told though I really ate this one up.  The sound field was wide open with the war and action moments, but also the quieter moments won me over and more importantly for me not a single word of dialogue was harmed in any scene.
  • Height: The Dolby Atmos channels bring a lot to this 4K package with moments like thunder, lightning, score filling them, a wolf’s howl, rain, wind, birds and gulls and my favorite…arrows that plow downward that block the sun so our 300 soldiers can fight in the shade.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel sounds large and in charge here and it probably has something to do with bodacious, big action sequences and the larger than life dialogue of Geard Butler (he really delivers).  Right from the introductory Warner Bros. logo the subwoofer channel hits you like a ten ton brick and delivers on the real deal…punishing bass.  Rain, thunder, lightning, score, drums, swords and shields clanging and so much more deliver an ultra heftiness to this surround track.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels immerse you here in all the moments of battle action, war screams and chaos not to mention atmosphere.  However, there’s so much more like wolf howls, wind and arrows just to name a few.  My absolute favorite moment though has to be near the film’s beginning where the doors open behind you when the Persian messengers step foot into Sparta to talk to our King.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are always clear, intelligible, concise, clean and directional through the presentation here.  There is never a single issue here.

300 4K Review


Sadly with the exception of a previously released commentary there’s nothing new to be found here on the UHD Disc other than that fancy new 4K presentation of 300.  That’s what you’re buying this for are you not?  Otherwise it’s all about the Blu-ray Disc here in this set.  It includes more than 3 hours of previously released special features, including that commentary from Zack Snyder.  In addition to all of this you do get a Digital Copy of 300 in 4K redeemable in Movies Anywhere.  So I suppose that can be considered an extra too!  Anyway, let’s take a closer look at what you’ll find on both discs.

The 300 Ultra HD disc contains the following previously released special feature:

  • Commentary with director/co-writer Zack Snyder, co-writer Kurt Johnstad and director of photography Larry Fong

The 300 Blu-ray disc contains the following previously released special features:

  • Commentary with director/co-writer Zack Snyder, co-writer Kurt Johnstad and director of photography Larry Fong
  • The 300: Fact or Fiction (HD, 24 mins.) – The shocking life of a Spartan!
  • Who Were the Spartans? The Warriors of 300 (HD, 6 mins.) – How the characters built their characters on Spartan customs.
  • Preparing for Battle: The Original Test Footage (HD, 6 mins.) – An inside look into how Zack sold his vision to make this stylistic film.
  • The Frank Miller Tapes (HD, 15 mins.) – Looks at Frank Miller’s involvement in the making of this movie.
  • Making of 300 (SD, 6 mins.) – If you were looking for one, this is definitely not a comprehensive look at the making of.
  • Making 300 in Images (SD, 3 mins.) – A montage video of photos.
  • Webisodes (SD, 38 mins.) – There are a total of 12 webisodes as listed below.
    • Production Design
    • Wardrobe
    • Stunt Work
    • Lena Headey
    • Adapting the Graphic Novel
    • Gerard Butler 
    • Rodrigo Santoro
    • Training the Actors
    • Culture of the Sparta City/State
    • A Glimpse from the Set: Making 300
    • Scene Studies from 300
    • Fantastic Characters of 300
  • Deleted Scenes with introduction by Zack Snyder (HD, 6 mins.)

300 4K Review


If you’re a fan of this film, I really do think this is a no-brainer for you to pick for the newly improved Dolby Atmos track alone.  Alright, that’s not exactly a huge endorsement for this 4K package, but your results are really going to vary.  300 is not for everyone.  I get it.  All of the extras are recycled from the prior Blu-ray releases and there’s nothing really new to be found here…except that Atmos track.  Sure there’s the 4K resolution (well culled from a 2K DI), but because of the stylistic way its filmed I wouldn’t buy it solely on that merit.  However, if you have never seen 300 before, don’t you want your first time to be on 4K UHD Disc?  I know you do!  So what are you waiting for?  Shake off your pandemic blues and hit up that pre-order down below!  Enjoy!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.



Soldiers Defend Their Freedom

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

October 6th



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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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